I’ve been talking this week about my experiences at BlogPaws. The entire experience was like a fairy tale for me. I’d never have been able to go if I hadn’t been sponsored and I am so grateful that I got the experience. I know that I won’t hesitate to go again next year, even though the timing of the event isn’t ideal for me. One of my sponsors, who has attended several BlogPaws events before, said to several of us who were attending for the first time that “it is what you make of it.” I understood that a lot more clearly after the conference was over, but I did my best to make the very most of my experience there, and I’m glad I did.
However, I didn’t want to come home and say that I’d never seen any of Salt Lake City outside of the hotel. Fortunately, I have an online friend, Jan, who lives near Salt Lake and I ran into Jodi of Kol’s Notes on Friday evening after the last session. They both helped me to keep my balance and enjoy some quieter time in the beautiful city we were visiting.
One thing I love is outdoor art shows. Jodi mentioned that she’d seen one just a couple of blocks from our hotel and that she was going to go up to look around and get some dinner. She had me at art show. Even though it was hot as blazes, I had a great time and I saw some sights that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I even found a small souvenir at the art show to wear home around my neck. It was lots of fun to talk with someone who has a similar relationship with her dogs and her blog that I do. I got to bed really late that night, but the lost winks of sleep were completely worth it.
The conference ended on Saturday night and my plane didn’t leave until 3:30 Sunday afternoon. My friend in town agreed to come and pick me up at 11:30 to show me some of the sights of Salt Lake. That was perfect timing since I had to be out of my hotel room by noon. You have to love Greyhound people and how they all stick together. It was a whirlwind tour, but Jan was determined to show me as much of the city as she could and she knew a lot of interesting facts about the city and certain landmarks. She took me to a fabulous local place to eat (thanks for telling her to take me there, Lee) and even dropped me off right at the airport. She even took a few pictures of me to prove that I was there. After showing me as much of the city as she could, she dropped me off at the airport and made me promise to let her know if we were ever going to be back in town.
I left Salt Lake City proud of myself that I’d seen some things outside of the beautiful Sheraton hotel. Don’t get me wrong, the hotel was beautiful, but I don’t know when I’ll have another opportunity to see the city. While I missed my dogs a lot, I also realized that I took a few of the lessons they’ve taught me along on the trip.
First, it’s more fun to travel in packs. No wonder dogs are pack animals. I felt a lot braver about exploring things when I wasn’t by myself. It doesn’t have to be a large pack, and that wouldn’t work well for me anyway, but it’s a lot more fun when you have someone else to see things with. Walking down the street, I felt safety in numbers and just a lot more relaxed.
Second, it’s a lot more fun to take time to sniff around and take note of the details of your surroundings. I think of all the times I tell Bunny that it’s been enough time to sniff around and get moving, and realize that she’s onto something. Seeing the city with someone native to it was a way for me to see some fantastic details that I would have missed on my own. Taking time out from the whirl of the conference was definitely good for me and a way to stay fresh and gain perspective.
My conference adventure was a fantastic learning experience, and I’m happy to say that part of what I learned was about the city I was visiting. I know that a lot of times it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of what we’re doing, but we need to remember to view things the way our canine companions would so that we can keep some perspective. The benefits of living with dogs can enhance our lives even when we’re not together, which might be one of the very best things about sharing life with a dog.
One last thing I’d like to mention is that Pedigree is having a “Write A Post, Help A Dog” campaign again this year that runs from now until midnight on June 30. For every post that a blogger makes that mentions the campaign, Pedigree will donate one 17 pound bag of dry food to a shelter, up to 450 bags. All you need to do is write a post and then add your blog to the linky so they can keep track of how many have been made. It all goes to help hungry pets, which is a pretty good payoff for a few minutes of typing.